Slammed With a Second DWI?
Being convicted of a DWI can really upend your life. In addition to bringing a lot of difficult issues to the surface, a DWI can also have a devastating financial impact, both due to the high costs of legal fees and the impact that a suspended license or criminal conviction can have on your employment options and ability to work. It can take a lot of time to bounce back from the impact of a conviction, which can make it all the more devastating and overwhelming when you end up with another one. If you have already been through the DWI process once, you may be concerned about how your prior conviction will impact the outcome in this case. The good news is that your second DWI, like your first DWI, will still be a misdemeanor. However, that is not to say that the consequences are not more severe; just that they are not a felony. Additionally, you may find that going through the court process a second time will be a different experience. Courts tend to be far more lenient on first-time offenders when it comes to DWIs, but there are fewer options available for people who already have a conviction.
Consequences of a Second DWI in North Carolina
In North Carolina, the penalties for a first-time DWI in North Carolina include a minimum jail sentence of one day lasting up to three years (depending on whether the DWI was aggravated, what level of severity it was determined to be, and whether any mitigating factors were present), $100 in court costs, a maximum fine of up to $2,000, up to 24 hours of community service, and a one-year-long license revocation. For a second DWI, the length of the jail sentence will again be determined based on the level of severity and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances, however, this time the minimum sentence will be seven days instead of one. You will also face revocation of your license for up to four years. After two years, you may be able to have a hearing with the North Carolina DMV to see if your license can be restored. This is possible only if you have completed substance abuse treatment and have made significant changes in your lifestyle that witnesses can testify to confirm.
Talk to a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer
You may be feeling like there is no point in fighting a second DWI charge when you already have a conviction on your record, however, there is a real difference between having one DWI charge and having multiple. It is critical that you make every effort to fight your conviction, and talking to an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney is the best way to do that. An attorney will review the facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether there are any possible bases for dismissal, and may be able to work to negotiate a plea to a reduced charge.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are facing charges for your second DWI in North Carolina, contact one of the experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorneys at Coastal South Law as soon as possible to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help fight for the best possible outcome in your case.